2023 is in full motion, which means we’re gearing up to walk into our greatest season yet. While New Year’s resolutions can look different for everyone, every woman needs a trusty journal to write her dream into a reality.
Journals secure our goals, document our lives, and keep our to-do lists in check. And while studies show that on average, one-third of resolutions don’t make it past the end of January, that won’t be our story. Because we’ve tapped the expertise of Jasmin Foster, founder of the inclusive stationery and gifts brand, Be Rooted for insight on how to utilize journals and planners to crush our goals all year long.
Courtesy of Jasmin Foster
When Jasmin launched her brand in 2020 as a passion project, it was the first time she wasn't chasing someone else’s dreams; instead, she began to prioritize her own. Jasmin established her brand with the belief that Black women deserve to feel seen and represented across covers and within the pages of their journals. It is both a reflection of our stories and an affirmation to be rooted in ourselves, our culture, and our desires. “I want women to be able to see our products and not feel like they had to make a choice,” Jasmin tells xoNecole.
Since launching, Be Rooted has made history by becoming the first Black-owned stationery brand to be sold at Target and continues to inspire Black women to explore their inner muse and celebrate themselves. “I want our customers to know that there’s a brand out there that believes in them and wants them to succeed,” she says. “We are just one of the tools in their toolbox that allows them to increase their productivity and to achieve their dreams.”
For xoNecole, Jasmin drops gems on best journaling practices, how to make measurable goals, how a chance encounter with Issa Rae taught her the importance of being specific while manifesting our dreams, and more.
On the importance of representation through design:
Choosing journals that reflect one’s personality and identity is a key part of the journal selection process. Here, Jasmin shares her intentions behind selecting designs that make Black women feel seen. “We wanted to have products that people could carry with them in their everyday life that were reflective of them and encouraged them throughout the day. There weren't a lot of brands, especially national brands, that were putting Black artwork on the covers in the stationery space. Having artwork that was more inclusively designed and reflective of our community was something that really hadn't been tapped into in a large way.”
Courtesy of Jasmin Foster
Jasmin adds, “As we create every single design, we’re taking into account who we’re trying to talk to, how we're embodying her vibe, and taking into account different skin tones, body types, and hair textures. People are coming to our brand to either find a reflection of themselves or a reflection of someone in their life that they're looking to connect with; and if it's not the artwork, they're looking at the words.”
On her Number #1 tip for getting started in your journaling practice:
Jasmin explains, “Journaling doesn't have to be something that you need to sit down every day and be like, ‘Dear Diary...’, it should be for when you're ready to sit down, write those honest truths, and recap your day. I'm never going to be the person that is going to push that you have to write every single day because that may not be everybody’s authentic truth. However, if you are someone who is looking to make it a daily habit, as a goal of yourself, I would say there are some amazing journal prompts that you can leverage as a starting tool. Some examples that I think are important are, ‘What am I grateful for the day?’ and ‘One thing I was proud of is…’ Using these journal prompts is a great way to get started,” she shares.
On being specific about your dreams:
Jasmin shares how a chance encounter with actress and producer, Issa Rae, revealed the importance of making your goals as gradual as possible. “While at Essence Festival this year, we were running into all these amazing celebrities, and I thought, ‘What if by the end of the week, I could finally meet Issa Rae?’ I didn’t want to meet her as a fan, I wanted to meet her while we were eating dinner or something where I could have a conversation. I went to dinner an hour later and guess who walks into the restaurant? Issa Rae. And she gets the table across from me. I realized I have to be a little bit more specific with my dreams because I meant to tell God that I wanted her to sit at the table with me,” she says laughingly. “Be very intentional with what you ask for.”
Courtesy of Jasmin Foster
On how to make your dreams measurable:
“Be very clear about what you want. I think in the vision board space, we focus on collecting pretty pictures. But we should also take the time to write a couple of action steps to start marching towards that goal. Think of what the pathway is to get there. Another kind of gut check that I've been doing for myself is, as I'm writing down goals, putting timeframes around them. If every goal is something I can complete in the next six months, I'm not dreaming big enough.”
On giving yourself permission to dream beyond the surface-level:
“Because I'm moving so fast at building a business, I often don't take the time I should to reflect on all the amazing things that are actually happening in my life. One prompt that I use at the beginning of the year is, 'My dream is…' and then build upon it. For many of us, our dreams can be very surface because we need to feel like we’re able to actually achieve them. So for me, it's important to write, 'My dream is…' and then push it beyond that and take it up another level.”
On how journals and planners can help create structure and routine in one’s life:
While some people may look to journals as a means to file away tasks, they can also be a great tool for organizing our life. Jasmin shares how she creates structure through daily planning. “I live by my planner. With my busy schedule, I have to write everything down that needs to get done. One thing I love about planners is that it gives you a structured space to prioritize everything. Oftentimes, we use our notebooks to create to-do lists that are 25 items deep, but when you prioritize the top five things that you’re going to do for today, it becomes way more achievable. I leverage those tools to help increase my productivity on a daily basis.”
Courtesy of Jasmin Foster
On what journaling has taught her about herself over the years:
Jasmin shares how getting your thoughts out on paper can help you get honest about your dreams. “Journaling has allowed me to be honest when I'm ready. I oftentimes find that I will stay in the ruminating phase of dealing with my thoughts/ideas in my head until I'm ready to write them down and put them on paper; and at that point, it becomes real for me. A lot of people are trying to figure out how to take their ideas and then turn them into reality, and journaling did that for me.
"The moment I put my thoughts on paper, I have to be honest with whatever goes onto that paper. You can tell yourself different lies or ignore your beliefs and thoughts when they're in your head, but when you write them down, that makes it real.”
On the affirmation she’s taking into the new year:
Simply put, “I'm that girl.” Jasmin says, “I've always played small and been comfortable being behind the scenes while figuring out how I can elevate and uplift those around me. I still want to do all of those things, but I'm stepping into the season of, ‘I'm that girl.’ I'm not going to play small. I'm not going to diminish myself. I'm going to fully embody the person that I'm trying to become, and y'all are gonna see that.”
“I think a lot of us need to own that we are ‘that girl’ in whatever space that looks like. We all need to stand tall and own the greatness and power that we have,” she adds.
Featured image courtesy of Jasmin Foster